Sen. Mark Warner Praises Forest Park High School, Virginia STAR Program

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Provided by Prince William County Schools

U.S. Senator Mark Warner had high praise for students and staff at Forest Park High School during a visit to see the work of the Virginia Student Training and Refurbishment program, better known as VA STAR. The Senator acknowledged the students’ great work fixing and updating surplus computers that be will soon be given free to five schools across Virginia though the Computers for Schools Program.*

That’s just the tip of the iceberg for VA STAR. The program began at Forest Park, spread to multiple Prince William County Public Schools and now continues to help schools across the Commonwealth. Currently in 70 schools in 44 districts, VA STAR teaches students to refurbish surplus computers and related hardware from government agencies and private companies.

Upgraded equipment goes to families, organizations, and school districts that otherwise couldn’t afford it. Students who do repairs, refurbishing, and updates gain expertise to help them earn industry-standard certifications that can pave the way to higher education and well-paying jobs.

Senator Mark Warner

Senator Warner praised VA STAR and Forest Park for preparing students for the their future. “We’ve got to make sure people are equipped with the skills to have the kind of jobs they’re going to need in the 21st century,” he said. “Your ability to demonstrate you’ve mastered this skill is going to be the key to your career.”

During his visit, Senator Warner met a graduate of the Forest Park’s VA STAR program who now runs SLABLE, a local information technology and communications solution company. Technology leader Karl Stallknecht credits his success, in great part, to the experience he gained at Forest Park.

VA STAR is paying off for those in need too. To date it has fixed, upgraded, and even trained many of the new owners of more than 14,000 computers.

The program is coordinated through the SPARK Education Foundation of Prince William County Public Schools, primarily from the model-site at Forest Park High School.

The Computers for Schools Program, a national program sponsored by the U.S. Senate and administered by the Senate Sergeant at Arms, allows Sen. Warner to select five schools every two years to receive surplus computers. To help relieve the costs for the schools receiving the equipment, Sen. Warner routed the free computers through the Virginia STAR program.


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